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Single Edge... Facing you or him?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by HS/LD, Dec 24, 2002.

  1. HS/LD

    HS/LD Well-Known Member

    I have had a little training in the use of edged weapons, and I understand that all teachers have their particular styles...

    One technique that 'felt right' for me was holding the knife forward grip with the blade facing me.... (that is sure to elicit a couple of responses).
    The idea is that the knife will be used primarily to stab with, and the blade facing away from the attacker will facilitate the "ripping out" after the stab. (You know describing knife defense techniques can sound pretty gruesome):eek:

    In a self-defense situation, with a single edged blade, is it facing toward you or away???

  2. stevec

    stevec Well-Known Member

    Are you talking about a Filipino style grip?

    With the point of the blade coming out the side opposite from your thumb?

    That style of grip is designed for fast, slashing type attacks, and using a 'pick' type move for point attacks. Its also better for concealing the fact that you have a knife in your hand (useful if you have a short range weapon, but totally inappropriate for "deterrence").
    Having the point come out the other side (sword style) is oriented towards cutting and thrusting. So you have to figure out what style of knife fighting you are using (and what style of knife).

  3. HS/LD

    HS/LD Well-Known Member

    Forward grip rather than reverse (sword style)

    Knife is held with the blade coming out on the same side as the thumb. However the blade faces toward you. Obviously not going to be very good for slashing. But great for scaling (the arms) stabbing to body, neck and thighs.

    I righthanded stab to the body wiil usually result in the body and the blade to be pulled in opposite directions. The body away from you and the blade back towards you. Hence the blade facing towards you results in a cut when these natural movements happen.

    I usually carry a 4" folder by Coldsteel.

  4. krept

    krept Well-Known Member

    I'm of the philosophy that pointy/sharp pieces always go towards enemy. With icepick, blade away grip, the hardest angle for me right handed is going from 11 O'clock to center... everything else is not too hard. If I had it blade-in, I would be much more limited IMO.
  5. Gray_Fallen

    Gray_Fallen Well-Known Member

    With a single edged blade, I prefer to use it in Reverse Grip, with the edge facing towards me, so called Edge In style. This deals with only gross muscle movement, and not fine motor skill (which we know goes down the toilet when the adrenaline hits and suddenly you're fighting for your life), as it is simple stabbing, and pulling. You stab in, getting the knife to depth, and then pull it back towards you, cutting your way out of the offending tissue. Fast, and powerful way to go about things. Its pretty well accepted (and I dont want to start a flame war on it) that thrusting gets quick kills better than slashing, I see this as the best of both worlds... get to depth, and then cut out, widening your hole... one nice big stab wound, in effect. Also, in folders, doing it this way eleminates stress against the lock, that comes from slashing across, and then stabbing back, in edge out reverse grip... infact, it takes stress all off the lock, and puts it all on the stop pin, because of the angles involved, and the fact that you're never putting any pressure against the spine of the blade.

    As for holding it in forward grip, I have till this point, used an edge down/edge towards the enemy type hold. Recent purchase of a Steve Mullin clip point fighting knife (with a sharpened false edge) has me giving a little more thought to holding the knife "upside down", but only in a blade with a clip point, and a shaprened false edge, because of the damage do-able by slashing across with that concave clip, and then stabbing in and jerking out with the main edge.
    I think there is something to be said for doing it that way with singled edged knives too. I know of an instructor (forget his name right now :() who teaches people to fight using Spyderco Enduras and Delicas (his choice for folders, but his material works with any folder), and teaches/prefers both Edge In reverse grip, and Edge Up forward grip. One of the things he teaches is to go low, between your opponents legs, and stab up into the area of the rectum, and then jerk the blade forward and out... done fast of course, and you'd have to have the right opening, but it would be a nasty technique. People can also clinch, and ball up, turning away from you, for just a split second, when injured, and that provides an opening for a similar shot, this time done from behind, just up/in and out... with a long enough blade this can be fatal. "Rectum? H*ll... it kill't 'em." ;) (Sorry, couldnt resist.)

    Ahh... nothing like a lovely, happy, post about gutting people to introduce oneself to a new forum. ;)
  6. Oracle

    Oracle Well-Known Member

    I prefer a blade-in filipino-style grip, like the Pekiti guys use. It's great for quick stabs at "bad breath distance" with an opponent, and works well for "stab-rip" moves as well. With a waved (pocket assisted opening) knife, it's as quick to get your knife into your hand, open, and out of your pocket into that grip as it is to pull a fixed blade out of a sheath, and the movement is almost undetectable. One second, the guy's got his thumbs sticking in his pockets, the next second, his knife is out, open and he's ready for business.
  7. mons meg

    mons meg Well-Known Member

    Depends on how much room to maneuver and about a hundred other factors, but generally a reverse grip is considered more "defensive" under most systems. So, if my opponent is armed with a knife as well, I am likely to use pass-and-return until he decides attacking is too expensive. Multiple attackers, no weapons, but I have knife....could still use blade in reverse grip. My Al Mar has a spear point so you could use it in a defensive "pick" mode if the BGs are taking swings at you...spike their incoming fists/foot/whatever.

    A forward grip is also just a valid in many situations, but I am too big to move well well enough to throw down a la West Side Story. :)

    One thing you can do with your style (or if you have a double edge), Gray_Fallen, is make use of blade traps and cut your opponents wrists. Kinda hard to describe.

    I'll stop rambling now.
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Gray, remind me to never get on your bad side when you have a knife in your hands. I am cringing at the mere thought of that move.
  9. Frank Jones

    Frank Jones Member

    That instructor sounds like Eric Remmen, maybe.

    Edge up/point forward is a perfectly valid technique. Besides the advantages already mentioned, filleting a foot-long strip from a bad man's arm can have a definite effect. Parry the attacking arm out, index the blade on the upper forearm and pull back. Ow.

    It's good to practice that grip sometimes anyway; you never know when you'll pick up the knife "wrong".
  10. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

    Edge opposite the thumb or 90 degrees to it with the edge to the inside, point forward. That's how I use knives on everything, and it's natural to me plus it's easy to rotate the knife from one position to the other, if appropriate.
  11. Gray_Fallen

    Gray_Fallen Well-Known Member

    I remembered the name of the instructor I was thinking of, Michael DeBethencourt. I am pretty sure thats the guy.

    Frank Jones made a great point, that you never know when you'll grab the knife "wrong", so its a good idea to practice in all grips. If you get it in your hand, you should know how to use it like it is, without taking precious time to reposition it.

    Mons Meg, I am familiar with trapping like that... just never really had opportunity to learn it or practice it... I need to find/make opportunity.

    Steve, I think its doubtful anyone posting here will ever be on my bad side *that* much ;) :)
  12. Jim March

    Jim March Well-Known Member

    I prefer a forward "convention" grip, with the empasis on gripping with the back three fingers, light touch only on the thumb and forefinger, 'cept to clench down for the occational stab.

    Three reasons:

    1) Reach - I like BIG blades, my carry folder is a 5.45" blade Sifu, fixed blade when carried (sometimes) is a 9.5". I was taught to MOVE (use footwork) with every single blade motion to control the range-to-target and make yourself a moving target. I don't want to get "inside" and do a "buzzsaw number", I want to do precision cuts and stabs at the moment I pick, while staying on the outside of his range.

    2) One of the most common things that happen in a knife fight is the other guy will try a straight-in "gut thrust" to your midline. Let's assume for a sec you're both right-handed. The proper counter I learned is to fade back and diagonally to the left with footwork (single step with left foot in motion) while cutting across and intercepting that incoming wrist with your blade held edge out, conventional forward grip, tip pointing up. If you miss that intercept, fine, you've at least gotten the heck out of the way and your own hand/wrist/forearm presents the BACK of your hand/wrist/forearm to the opponent. You can take a fairly horrendous cut back there and ignore it, still getting good use out of the limb - it's your "inside wrist" where both your major blood vessels are and your "clenching tendons".

    3) There are a whole series of "rollouts" where your knife-hand wrist gets grabbed and you drop your elbow, shift your weight to the outside away from his other hand and cut the hand/wrist he's using to grab you. These are a bit complicated, but once you know them they're very reassuring to have in the ol' toolkit. And they work with a conventional "edge out" forward grip versus edge in. There are also a series of rollouts for when you're in reverse grip and again, they work edge out.

    Even in the reverse grip, edge out will increase your cutting/slashing range over edge in.
  13. Gray_Fallen

    Gray_Fallen Well-Known Member

    Agreed. And I think thats important... everything has its application. Although I admit I neglect edge out reverse grip, because of my preference for edge in. I seem to use Saber grip (actually hammer grip, which I like better than regular saber) for more range, and Edge In at the closest engagements.

    I've always been of the "school" of though that says most fights are going to get really close, and not be much like duels, especially if attacked un-awares. (I know, shouldnt let it happen, but even those of us who practice the colour code can be surprised.) Mind, I've only been in a couple of real fights, one involved fists (and a big rock when it became apparent I was going to lose otherwise, heh heh heh) and the other involved nothing but a big Ash walking cane. Both went fast, and I dont remember a lot about them... but both of them seemed really close, even though the longer weapon was involved in the one, it still seemed to happen like everyone was right on top of everyone else... that, and how things go in training I've done, it seems things can get really close, really fast... maybe its a flaw in my training or my methods, but it sjust been my experiance that breath to breath, nose to nose range, is rather common, so I train in methods that deal with that. Also the knives I generally carry are not extremely large. Largest I carry is a Steve Mullin fixed blade fighter, with a 6 inch blade. I find my methods suit the blades I use well, and get the most out of them.
    I need to work on my more ranged work... building a large bowie right now (sort of like a Bagwell Hells Belle) and once thats done, I'll have something better to work on more distanced range. All my other big bowies havent really been well balanced, and that has discouraged me from working with anything larger than a 7" blade. Also I dont often carry a big knife, more because I cannot conceal one well (and havent invested in a custom made system for that, yet)... so again, back to smaller knives, and the techniques I find work best for them and me, based on my experiance, real, and in sparring, and the mindset i have about knife fighting, which is "Get in, and kill them as fast as possible. Hit vitals, and make big wounds in them, and get away."
  14. Jim March

    Jim March Well-Known Member

    THE key to opening up the range is footwork. Constant motion. Too many people "freeze up" and focus on both the other guy and your own weapon. Many of the better martial arts (including all the Filipino/Indonesian systems) teach continuous fluid footwork in specific patterns that become "instinctive".
  15. krept

    krept Well-Known Member

    Me too. Mick Strider said that if you are in a fight with a blade and the other guy goes turtle or balls up, to give em the point there too. That would really be a bummer! :eek:

    Atienza Kali has some interesting content... I think it was the Mass Attack Strategies one that I saw earlier. Guy has smoking moves with an icepick grip IIRC. (you might want to turn the volume down on it)

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